Who knows what Andre Johnson’s next contract will be, or what will become of his current deal.

What we do know: watching very closely will be Houston Texans teammate J.J. Watt.

Watt, like the rest of the 21 members of the 2011 draft class to have their fifth-year options picked up two months ago, has two more seasons to prove his worth.

OverTheCap.com, an NFL salary cap blog, projects that proof will land Watt a $54 million with $26 million guaranteed, based on Watt’s production and the recent market for pass rushers.

It’s a fascinating read, and offers statistical comparisons to well-paid pass rushers like Mario Williams, Clay Matthews, Charles Johnson and Trent Cole, and the amount and timing of their contracts.

But one thing is clear: how the Texans handle Johnson’s current standoff with management will not go unnoticed by Watt, who’s next in line for a payday.

Though if Watt thrives under first-year defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel, it may not matter, and Watt may choose to take his own hard line about playing for less than he’s worth — regardless of what the team does with Johnson.

The two-time first-team All-Pro’s rookie deal pays $1.9 million this season, and $6.96 million in 2015. This, for the 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, who led the league in sacks that season with 20.5.

Texans training camp opens on Friday.

It’s already rife with drama.


[display-posts category=”sports” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”5″]